Setting the Priorities for the Hydropower Sector of the Future

In the period between August and October 2019, the EU-funded project HYDROPOWER EUROPE held a series of Regional Workshops in Lulea (Sweden), Lausanne (Switzerland) and Chania (Greece). HYDROPOWER EUROPE aims to steer the research agenda for the hydropower sector by consulting a Forum of stakeholders on a variety of topics, defining the common priorities to make hydropower a protagonist of the energy transition.

The workshops – organised by EASE – had a two-day format and involved more than 150 local hydropower stakeholders: research, industry, academia, national, regional and European policymakers, as well as civil society from more than 20 different countries.

On the first day of event, the project was presented and speakers from industry, authorities and research have addressed specific geographical perspectives (Nordic, Alpine or Mediterranean) on hydropower. Participants could hear about the state of hydropower in certain countries, current challenges and best practices.

On the second day, the Research and Innovation Agenda (RIA) and the Strategic Industry Roadmap (SIR) drafted by project partners and an Expert Panel have been presented. Participants were then divided in topic groups to discuss sections of the two documents, such as hydro and pumped storage, optimisation of existing plants, small hydropower potential, climate change effects on infrastructures, hydro marine energy solutions, environmentally friendly solutions, and the role of hydropower in climate change mitigation, development and research needs for the sector, and additional services that hydropower can provide to civil society.

The high level of engagement was due to the interactive format of the event, which allowed topic groups to share the outcomes of their internal discussions with others.

Outcomes of the workshops will be taken into consideration in the following stages of drafting the RIA and SIR; EASE would like to invite all those interested in joining the discussion around the two documents to participate in the Stakeholder Consultation – and build the hydropower sector of the future.

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